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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Feb. 1, 2021): Caleb Plant holds firm, keeps spot in Canelo line

Caleb Plant won as expected, and things otherwise stay the same this week and next.

Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

Rankings go up on Mondays at Noon ET.

It’s a light update this week, and with no ranked fights coming this week, there will be no reason to update next Monday. So for the upcoming fights bit at the top here, we’ll just list what’s coming before our next rankings update on Feb. 15.

Upcoming Fights:

  • Light Heavyweight: (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Maxim Vlasov, Feb. 13
  • Junior Middleweight: (3) Brian Castano vs (9) Patrick Teixeira, Feb. 13
  • Lightweight: (6) Richard Commey vs Jackson Marinez, Feb. 13
  • Junior Lightweight: (4) Joseph Diaz Jr vs Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, Feb. 13
  • Featherweight: (1) Josh Warrington vs Mauricio Lara, Feb. 13
  • Junior Featherweight: (8) Azat Hovhannisyan vs TBA, Feb. 13
  • Junior Featherweight: (9) Ronny Rios vs Oscar Negrete, Feb. 13

Upcoming Fights: (8) Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa, Feb. 27 ... (5) Alexander Povetkin vs (6) Dillian Whyte, Mar. 6


Upcoming Fights: (2) Krzysztof Glowacki vs (8) Lawrence Okolie, Mar. 20


Upcoming Fights: (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Maxim Vlasov, Feb. 13 ... (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Adam Deines, Mar. 20


Notes: Caleb Plant picked up a predictably one-sided win over Caleb Truax on Saturday night, retaining his IBF title and in the bigger picture, his spot in line to face Canelo Alvarez later this year. Plant stays parked where he was, and barring the hand injury he suffered in the fight being a surprisingly big deal, the current smart bet would be on him fighting Canelo between September and December, though there are certainly speed bumps for Alvarez between now and then.

We also got word that David Morrell Jr has been hilariously bumped from “interim” WBA to WBA “world” (regular) titleholder, which is funny because he didn’t make weight for his last fight. But the bigger news is that the elevation comes with an order to fight John Ryder, which could be interesting.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, Feb. 27 ... (8) Anthony Dirrell vs Kyrone Davis, Feb. 27 ... (3) David Benavidez vs Ronald Ellis, Mar. 13 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Billy Joe Saunders, TBA


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (3) Brian Castano vs (9) Patrick Teixeira, Feb. 13


Notes: Manny Pacquiao was moved from WBA “super world” champion to “champion in recess,” with the sanctioning body elevating Yordenis Ugas from “world” to “super world,” which conveniently gives PBC and Errol Spence Jr a chance to make a three-belt unification immediately. I’m certain it was nobody making any Suggestions but simply that the WBA, paragons of virtue, Doing the Right Thing.

I don’t mean this as any disrespect to Pacquiao, who is a genuine living legend, a boxing and sporting icon across the world, but it’s probably time to consider if Manny Pacquiao has much interest in continuing his boxing career apart from money grabs. He wanted to fight Conor McGregor, which is an easy fight for him, and now the Ryan Garcia talk has turned to exhibition. Manny’s 42, a Senator in the Philippines with potentially bigger political ambitions, and hasn’t fought since the summer of 2019. If the WBA had any indication from Pacquiao that he planned to defend or unify, they were not going to elevate Ugas, even for a Spence unification.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker, Mar. 20 ... (9) Sergey Lipinets vs Jaron Ennis, Apr. 10


Notes: It’s not official yet, but we look to be headed for an undisputed champion at 140, with Top Rank reserving May 8 at the MGM Grand for Josh Taylor vs Jose Ramirez. Again, that’s not official — promoters have definitely reserved dates at venues ahead of time for fights that didn’t wind up happening — but things are looking good.

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (6) Richard Commey vs Jackson Marinez, Feb. 13


Upcoming Fights: (4) Joseph Diaz Jr vs Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, Feb. 13 ... (1) Miguel Berchelt vs (6) Oscar Valdez, Feb. 20 ... (3) Jamel Herring vs (9) Carl Frampton, Feb. 27


Upcoming Fights: (1) Josh Warrington vs Mauricio Lara, Feb. 13


Upcoming Fights: (8) Azat Hovhannisyan vs TBA, Feb. 13 ... (9) Ronny Rios vs Oscar Negrete, Feb. 13 ... (5) Brandon Figueroa vs (6) Luis Nery, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (9) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (4) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Mar. 12 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13


Upcoming Fights: (1) Julio Cesar Martinez vs McWilliams Arroyo, Feb. 27


Upcoming Fights: (8) Jonathan Gonzalez vs TBA, Mar. 12 ... (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Axel Aragon Vega, Mar. 13


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (9) Miguel Berchelt vs Oscar Valdez, Feb. 20 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, Feb. 27 ... (8) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13 ... (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA ... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA


Notes: Made the decision to drop Marcela Eliana Acuna, who hasn’t fought since a May 2019 draw with Jackie Nava and is 44 years old now. She’s had a great career and all, but that’s a long stretch of inactivity for a meemaw. Yesica Bopp hasn’t fought since June 2019 and doesn’t have the belt she last held anymore, but she’s also 31 and likely will be back. I’m giving rope to inactivity in a COVID world. Certain things in the sport — the lower men’s weight classes and women’s boxing, especially in places like Argentina where it’s usually been stronger over the years — have been hard hit. They’re perhaps fights that rely more on picking up a live gate than many.

In is Terri Harper, who still has questions, but looked good against Katharina Thanderz after a controversial draw with Tasha Jonas, and let’s not discount that Jonas can fight and maybe just had the one bad night as a pro when she lost. Harper’s got a few solid wins, and, well — look, I hate that I have to keep framing it this way, but I do enjoy women’s boxing. I think it’s coming along. But there remains a lack of proven depth across the sport and we’re still sort of moving from one era to another. We’re kind of waiting on fighters like Seniesa Estrada, Chantelle Cameron, maybe Savannah Marshall, Dina Thorslund, etc. to prove a bit more. There are others, too, and Harper wasn’t the only one I considered for the new spot, but I don’t want to list a bunch of people. They all have about the same argument right now.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Claressa Shields vs Marie-Eve Dicaire, Mar. 5 ... (5) Jessica McCaskill vs (6) Cecilia Braekhus, Mar. 13

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